The Great Baby on Flag Debate of 2015

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The Great Baby on Flag Debate of 2015

At work we've talked about this, and it's almost exactly 50/50 on whether this is patriotic or disgraceful.  It is 50/50 in my house too, and my wife is a photographer.  Oddly, she thinks it is disgraceful, and I think it is patriotic.  But, since I have a TON of work to do today, and wanted something everyone was talking about, here's the video.

Share your thoughts in the comments:

Posted in the burner | 37 comments
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Call me naive but I saw this as a simple symbolism of what our county was founded for, "to offer a better, safer and promising future for generations to come." When I look at the picture, I see our nation's symbol embracing a child, a loved one and the future of this great nation; nothing more, nothing less.

In contrast, I am proud of those who spoke up to keep the flag a precious symbol not to be disgraced by anyone. Thank you for taking a stand and stepping up for old glory. But, let's redirect those efforts (and I will help) toward those who burn our flag, who wear it as a tattered shirt or walk on it in public demonstrations for some "better than thou" cause. Let's take that energy and help reinstate stiff laws for those who don't respect the sacrifice others before us have given to have this great nation. Let's lock arms to battle those who forget the brave men and women who stand in harm's way today to protect this great place we call home.

Thank you for those who see our values in this picture which bond country and family together. At the same time, thank you to those of you who were willing to speak out if you thought old glory was being used inappropriately. Either way, you took a stand about being proud of this great country and I applaud you for it!

God Bless those still serving today.....Thank you.

I have to totally have to agree with you and your thoughts here. I love it actually. I look at in and feel warmth, and like the child is laying in his security blanket. A baby is Pure, innocent, defenseless and We here in America, the Great USA will protect our baby any way possible, and fight to the end to protect them. I know I have and will continue to protect and fight for my children, my grandchildren as well as yours and everyone else’s. Just the way we are and have been raised, generation after generation. this IMHO. Thank you much for your wonderful post and thoughts. Stay Safe. J Russell, USN, Ret. Denver, CO.

Vanessa, I am a retired military woman and that photo is spectacular, even genius in it's symbology, and of all the photos that I have seen that dishonor our precious flag, are personally heart breaking, and totally without protocol, this is not one of them. Keep up the fine work, a photo is worth a thousand words, eh. Blessings to you and your family.....thank you. Linda L.

A work of art!

I believe that this photograph shows what our military members fight for , past , present and futre. God, Country and Family. Great way to show it.

It's great

It's great

Thank you for putting into a photo what I cannot express adequately of why I served. The enveloping flag of our country surrounds the next generation and protects them with the present generation holding the flag. What a beautiful and wondrous symbol of our citizen soldiers, America and simple patriotism. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
A former Vietnam Nam Vet, I appreciate the symbolism more than you can know.

Work of art

It is. beautiful loving picture.

I have seen the flag used for beach towels, t-shirt, bikinis, and even Katy Perry wore a flag dress in several different styles. So where is all the uproar over those uses??
This photo is showing what it is really all about, what you really fight for. As a Viet Nam vet, I remember the flag burnings of those days and this photo gives me a totally different feeling.
This photo makes me feel good.

A beautiful thing.

The flag code is violated by every merchandiser including the VFW and American Legion who SELL flag shirts in their stores.
In this case, even though there are multiple violations, it's what it depicts that is powerful. A member the US military holding the symbol of the U.S. cradling and protecting the symbol of our future....our children.

What a brilliant thought. I'm an amateur photographer with just a minimal understanding of composition and what it takes to make a feeling come to life with a photograph. It is the thought behind the picture that counts! I see nothing but pure inspiration there. Thank you Vanessa for sharing this thought with us. I think most of us "Got It!" Don't be discouraged by those with a different point of view. There will always be someone that looks at it differently than you. You cannot think for them, and neither should they try to think for you. What comes to mind is that old military attitude. "I may not agree with what you say, but I will die for your right to say it!"

I think it is an appropriate way of having the baby become patriotic in this tine of day. It is not offensive in anyway.

I served for 24 years, the Flag protecting an American baby is why we serve.

What a wonderful picture. Thank God for our service people who protect us and our country and flag
and what it stands for.

This is a perfect example of an American baby in "THE CRADLE OF LIBERTY" Isn't this what we all served for?

Thank you to both you and your husband for serving our country. And thank you for not backing down. We serve our country to keep its people safe and free. Your photo captivates both.

A hypocrite is someone who rants about one part of a set of rules being ignored or violated, but then blatantly disregards other parts of the same set of rules. Either respect ALL of the US flag code, or just forget the whole thing. I admit, the code is quite picky; even the current US postage stamps depicting the flag violate the flag code because the envelope with the stamp attached is usually tossed in the trash after the letter is delivered.

This is a great pic. I love it, and it honors the American flag!

The United States Flag Code establishes


for display and care of the national flag of the United States of America. It is Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code. The Flag Code is a U.S. federal law,


for failure to comply with it and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that punitive enforcement would conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

It is the photographer's demonstration of her First Amendment rights to photograph whatever she wants to do to the flag, including using it as a hammock for a baby.

If you don't like the First Amendment, then

    too bad

. I'm sure you would be more comfortable in a Communist or Sharia country.

Having seen many of the inappropriate ways that our American flag has been used I do not believe that this photo should be place in a category with them because this photo does not desecrate our flag in any way but shows what our country and those who serve in our military believe in. God bless America!

Wonderful symbolism. Our athletes carry and wear the flag. Not touching the ground. Not being defiled!

It was presented with all respect, a soldier and his family. Should be a poster for the dedication and honor for servicing your country and protecting us and their families.

Of the hundreds of flag draped coffins, and bodies I have witnessed in my life, it was nice to see the beginning of life wrapped in our glorious American Flag.

Hi John Widmann, I just read your post here. Your Thoughts and feelings you have brought tears to my eyes, goosebumps, and a heart swollen with Pride and Love. Absoultly Straight UP on Spot comment. I Sir do Appreciate your feelings and Respect your thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing Shipmate.
J Russell, USN, Ret. Denver, CO.

I would rather see a photograph of an American baby wrapped inside an American flag rather than hear stories of the American flag being removed from American schools, American courthouses, American neighborhoods, American etc, because it offends a few people, the majority of which, CHOSE to come to this country with intent to make it their Homeland yet refuse to live by, abide by, and dwell within American traditions. What next? I suspect the Fourth of July (aka Independence Day) will soon be removed too.

I'm a Vietnam Vet. Full USAmerican. Ok, maybe this use of the flag doesn't meet "regulated" use standards. Maybe the photographer shouldn't have pasted her logo so bold along the picture. But what a GREAT way to show "Born in the USA" and Proud of it by the child's parents and the photographer. The baby, supported and protected by the Flag and what it stands for, and held in the strong Proud arms of its Soldier parent. Hooray to you, Vanessa Hicks, for your service and vision beyond "regulations".

I'am a USAF vet. And I Love that picture with the baby wrapped in the flag.

It's a beautiful picture that represents what we fight for.
BUT don't leave that baby there too long.... after all it is a baby!!!....and they are full of wet surprises!!

I like it. Served 21 years active and reserve. I see no disrespect. I see the freedom we believe in and hope for the future.

As a 21 year Navy veteran, one schooled in flag etiquette as a qualified Officer of the Deck I see one violation of the Flag Code - the flag in the photograph is not displayed as required. Big deal! If half the images and displays I see of the American Flag violated so little I'd be convinced we were winning. This image evokes what all veterans do - protect those who can't protect themselves. It is what we stand for!

US Coast Guard and War Veteran.....I love it and nobody F,s with our flag when im around.

2nd Ranger Battalion, D company June 6 , 1944 Alfred Perugini, My father thinks its beautiful and they don't get no tougher than him... He lived through three major blood bathes and he is proud...

But not a diaper....

US Coast Guard Boatswains-mate and I piped our flag up and down all around the world, code violation yes, but nobody thought about this picture.....If a baby and our flag is not in good taste....Thats what i would die for....I love it.......

I don't think it is unpatriotic. I agree that she is showing her baby protected by the flag.
I think it is more unpatriotic and disgraceful for someone to wear the flag as a shirt or pants or head band.

First of all, I agree with all of the positive comments above. I'm a veteran and think it is a great picture! But to put the comments about inappropriate use of the flag in the proper context, the instances mentioned such as beach towels, bikinis, t-shirts and other clothing, coozies, bar napkins, coasters, etc, etc, are NOT flags. They are representations of the flag and most of them do not depict a representation of the complete flag.
The U.S. Supreme Court determined years ago that these and other like items that have flag-like representations on them are not themselves considered U.S. flags and therefore do not violate the flag code. In order for these items to violate the flag code, they would have had to be made from material that came from a U.S. flag and then cut or otherwise modified to be made into clothing, etc. Otherwise, trust me, the American Legion and the VFW would not be selling items with depictions of the U.S. flag on them. Just my 2 cents worth, adjusted for inflation.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.